In light of “new information,” Emmett Till’s death investigation will be opened by the government, according to the AP.
The 14-year-old’s death by lynching in Money, Mississippi rocked the proverbial core of America and as a result became a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. The Chicago teen was lynched while visiting family.
A federal report sent to congress in March noted that the 1955 case would be re-opened, but did not specifically indicate what the new information may be.
Till’s harrowing death was recently profiled in a book titled, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” written by researcher, Timothy B. Tyson. In the book, a white woman named Carolyn Dunham was quoted saying that she falsely testified in court when she claimed Till grabbed and whistled at her while making sexual advances.
Dunham’s initial allegations against the teen led to his death after a white mob, including Dunham’s then husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, beat and shot Till, then weighed his body down with a cotton gin before throwing him in the Tallahatchie River.
Bryant and Milam were arrested and charged with murder, but later acquitted in Till’s death. In a 1956 magazine interview, the two men confessed to Till’s death, but were never re-tried. Bryant and Milam are now deceased.
Supporters believes Dunham’s confession, coupled with multiple requests from Till’s family, led to the Justice Department’s decision.
The case was initially reopened in 2005, but was closed in 2007.